It seems obvious doesn’t it, being active is great for our overall health and wellbeing. Research shows exercise improves the brain’s ability to be plastic. That means that our nerve cells can grow and change, helping us to learn and remember more effectively. We are also less likely to suffer from depression and anxiety. Working with our bodies more helps to increase our confidence which is an important part of self-love and self-acceptance.
For this blog post, I asked my buddy, Personal Trainer Tom Wood, former GB athlete and mover extraordinaire to give us his top tips to get us moving, especially as Winter rolls in…Thanks Tom!
“Let’s take a look at the healthiest and longest living populations in the world, whether it’s seniors in Okinawa in Japan who spend a lot of time tending to their gardens; farmers and shepherds of Sardinia, Italy who spend their waking day on their feet looking after their land and livestock; or the people of Nicoya, Costa Rica who encourage a lifestyle that is physically active. They all have something in common. They move. A lot. They do not sit at office jobs all day, nor do they spend hours every week sitting in their cars or in front of the television. Alright, you get the point. So, what can you do? Below are a number of different ways you can increase your daily activity to improve health and wellbeing.
Walking is one of the most human things we can do. It’s easy, free and has countless benefits, including strengthening your heart and your muscles, increasing the oxygen supply to every cell in your body, improving circulation, and decreasing your risk of disease.
Walking + work
Walk to work, take the stairs, stand up and walk around when you’re on the phone, and take walking meetings at work. All will improve cognitive function and boost your productivity throughout the day.
Walk your dog – or someone else’s!
Having a dog is a great way to get out the house and into the fresh air, however, if you don’t have a dog, but enjoy the company of man’s best friend, there are a number of charities that provide this service like The Cinnamon Trust. There are often waiting lists through these types of charities so you can also use websites like borrowmydoggy.com.
Get yourself an activity tracker
This can be a great motivational tool. Often you can think you’re active and healthy, but when you record how active you’ve actually been it can be a very different story. For those who like data collecting, graphs and charts, this is a must. There are many to choose from, all providing you with the motivation you need to start moving more and leading a healthier and happier life.
Download audiobooks onto your smartphone through apps like audible, stick your headphones in and head out the door.
Be active and play with your children
Kids see, kids do. If your children see you inactive and unhealthy, what do you think they’re more likely to do when they grow up? Yep. So, play football, go on a family cycle ride, go to the beach, build sand castles, and be a role model for your children.
Re-think the way you socialise
Being surrounded by the people you love is essential to your health, however, sitting down and consuming hundreds if not thousands of calories in booze isn’t. Instead of meeting at your local, meet your friends out and about.
Try something new
They say variety is the spice of life and that couldn’t be more accurate when it comes to exercise and moving more. Why not try a dance class, martial arts class, climbing, anything! And don’t give up if you don’t enjoy something you try, there’s something out there for everyone.
Do something you actually enjoy
Exercise because you love your body, not because you hate it. People will often exercise for aesthetic goals, which is fine, however, if they don’t see the results you want (most of the time), you will often lose motivation and focus, and give up as you don’t actually enjoy the exercise you are doing. Doing something you enjoy is a great safety net. Find something you would do even if you didn’t see results.
For more information on Tom Wood visit: tomwoodfitness.co.uk